Filed Under:Risk Management, Loss Control

Insurers raising Homeowners' rates in Massachusetts

Industry officials say the severe winter of 2015 is behind the rate hikes. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo)
Industry officials say the severe winter of 2015 is behind the rate hikes. (Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP Photo)

More Massachusetts homeowners are seeing higher insurance bills as several smaller companies follow industry leaders in raising rates after last year’s damaging winter storms, The Boston Globe reported.

About a dozen home insurance companies have increased average rates between 4% and 10% in recent weeks, or will do so soon, according to filings with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. This follows increases by two of the state’s largest insurers, Webster, Mass.-based Mapfre USA Corp. and Boston-based Safety Insurance Co., which each boosted homeowner premiums by an average of about 9% last year, the newspaper reported.

Average rates for the 154,000 customers of Quincy, Mass.-based Arbella Insurance Group, the state’s third-largest home insurer, climbed 8.7% Jan. 1. By mid-January, customers renewing their policies with Andover, Mass.-based Andover Cos., which owns Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Co., will see premiums rise by an average of almost 10%, the Globe said.

Merrimack and Cambridge, which together insure nearly 70,000 homeowners, also are boosting their minimum deductible to $500 from $250.

On March 1, the Rhode Island insurer Amica Mutual Insurance Co. will raise rates on its 65,500 Massachusetts customers by an average of 5%.

Amica, Andover, and Arbella declined to comment for the Globe story.

Insurance industry officials and analysts say severe winter in 2015 and other catastrophic weather events of recent years, triggered the need for higher rates, the newspaper said. Last winter’s snowfall broke records and caused expensive damage to roofs and walls, requiring insurers to pay more than $1 billion in claims in Massachusetts alone.

Related: Boston's snow job

But the rate increases have become controversial, sparking calls from lawmakers and other state officials for greater scrutiny of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, which regulates the industry and reviews rate requests. Consumer groups want regulators to hold formal hearings on the rate increases. The Massachusetts Legislature is considering proposals that would require the Division of Insurance to make rate requests public — before they are approved, the Globe reported.

Related: Winter storm prep for property owners

Are you following us on Facebook?

Related

Massachusetts says no to deductible for ice-dam damage

Mapfre USA had wanted customers to pay as much $10,000 toward repairs.

Featured Video

Most Recent Videos

Video Library ››

Top Story

How construction cons steal workers’ comp premiums: It's a shell game

Shell schemes in construction to avoid workers' comp premiums and taxes have risen to new levels of scope and sophistication in the last 10 years.

Top Story

Highlights from the first full day at RIMS 2017

The first full day of RIMS 2017 kicked off on April 24 at the Philadelphia Convention Center with the General Session and Awards Luncheon.

More Resources

Comments

eNewsletter Sign Up

PropertyCasualty360 Daily eNews

Get P&C insurance news to stay ahead of the competition in one concise format - FREE. Sign Up Now!

Mobile Phone

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.